Classroom Tour

A couple of years ago, I gave people a little peak into my classroom.  Although much of it has remained the same, I decided this August that it needed some sprucing up.  2017-ifying, if you will.  Until this year, I hadn't done much to my room for about eight years.  Mainly because of #babies and #unmotivated and #otherpriorities.  This year, however, I returned to school with a pep in my step (after mourning the end of summer), ready to make some changes.  I decided that if my classroom was a place that made me happy, then it would make my attitude towards teaching that much better, and if I could win over a few students with a cute classroom, maybe they'd go ahead and give math a fair chance.

Before, my classroom was bright and colorful--and very teachery.  You know, full of motivational posters from the teacher store.  (Even Einstein Asked Questions.  This is a Positive Thinking Area.  Believe in Yourself.)  Although there's nothing wrong with that, I was ready to get rid of those posters (most of them) and replace the neon brights with some trendy decor and calming colors.  A month into the school year, and I love how my room turned out!  So without further ado, here's my fresher and happier classroom!

The view upon entering...

The view from the front of the classroom...

And the view from the back of the classroom...

One update was this pennant banner that spells my last name.  Initially I bought this to hang across the front of my teacher's desk, but I decided to span it across the front of the classroom instead.  Back in the day, I would have hand-made a sign like this.  Three kids later + the beginning of the school year, however, buying > making, especially when the pennants were 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  I also added the framed art above my whiteboard.  The frames were $2.50 each at Ikea.  They are lightweight and do not include glass, which is extra nice so they don't shatter if/when they fall.  The images were part of Target's Dollar Spot (three for $1, three for $3...I can't remember?).

I couldn't resist buying one of these since it was on sale at Hobby Lobby.   The sale price made it $13.50!  I can't wait to come up with google witty and nerdy math things to write!

It's hard to read, but that small black sign says "Math is hard. So if life. Get over it."  I anticipate myself pointing to that a number of times this year.

These magnets have my seminar (study hall-like class) students' names on them.  When my students sign out to go see another teacher, they write their destination next to their name and erase it upon their return.  I printed their names and double-sided taped them to the magnets, but the magnets can actually be written on with dry-erase markers.  Last year, the students would scribble their names all over my whiteboard, but I like organization and order, so this seems to be the perfect solution.

I bought these two cork boards from Target for $10 each and stuck them to my wall with command strips.  They are 2x3 feet and provide for just enough room.  The TODAY chalkboard is from Hobby Lobby and I use a magic eraser to change the date each day.  And see those gold marker baskets on my whiteboard?  They used to be pink and green, but like I said, I was done with the bold colors, so I spray painted them gold.

If you zoom in, you'll see all kinds of math funnies on that bulletin board.  (Stay tuned for more of those!)

The folder that says Silver 1 is where I put handouts for any students who are absent.  I have a clear tray for my blue classes and another for my silver classes (we're on block scheduling) and a folder for each block inside.  The flowers are pens inside a mason jar that I also spray painted.

And then there's my clock.  I showed this last time, and I still love it!  I bought a cheap clock at Walmart, took the cover off, and added the paper with the square roots.  I love it.  Kids hate it.  (But I've learned through the years that they can't tell time on these types of clocks anyway, not just because of the numbers.)

This next group of pictures is of the outside wall of my classroom.  It includes my favorite new feature - the gallery wall!

I purchased a few framed signs from Hobby Lobby, but most of these are just free printables from the Internet.  Some are laminated, some are not, and I stuck them to the wall with cute washi tape.  (The framed art is attached with either nails or command strips.)  I also bought a caddy for cell phones on Amazon.  The students are required to put their cell phones in there before the start of class and they can only retrieve them at the end of class if they show me their completed assignment.  So far, it's working really well!  (My cell phone policy has changed so many times through the last ten years, but I've realized that high school students--even honors level--are addicted to their phones and can't not look at them if they keep them at their desks.)

Lots of lots of printed Instagram pictures, which I printed at Walgreens.  Another spray painted mason jar filled with flower pens for the students to borrow.  And a cute (fake) plant from Ikea.  (I've had that white flower for ages.)

This is not my main whiteboard, but the whiteboard on my outside wall.  I list out our two-week schedule so they students always know what's coming.  Also, that arrow thing is new (Hobby Lobby) and includes three clips that I can attach things to.

Not sure if you can see it, but I have a Scenty wall plug in below that side whiteboard.  I want to start diffusing oils in my classroom (this diffuser would be perfect!), but I haven't gotten to that just yet.

The back corner.  I got this cute paper lamp at Ikea and paper lanterns from Hobby Lobby.

And then there's my desk area, which is in the front corner of my classroom.  I hung my diplomas (both undergrad and grad), got a couple more fake Ikea plants, and moved some things around.  Lots of Tigerhawks to remind me of my college years and lots more photos of my kiddos.

Here's my view from my desk.  I have my desk at an angle so I can see the students while they are working/testing.

This mug actually came from a blog exchange (though I can't remember who sent it).  I usually keep a k-cup or two for those days I need just one more cup of coffee.  (The teacher next door has a Keurig.)

My desk is always very, very tidy.  I can't stand piles of paper everywhere.

Those magnetic photo strips are from The Container Store (a long time ago).  I also spray painted them gold.

Next, is the opposite wall, the wall that faces the hallway.  I haven't changed that bulletin board in years, but I do like my Iowa Hawkeye fabric.  There are a few teacher-style posters, but only my favorites.

Here's my student station.  Pens, a stapler, tape, three-hole punches, the pencil sharpener, pencils, and tissues...basically anything the students may need.

I saw this idea on Pinterest.  Need a pencil? Take a pencil. Share a pencil.  I never used to loan pencils, but they are so cheap so I decided why not!  Teaching is like parenting, you pick your battles.  I'd rather my students do their homework in pen than not do it at all; however, I prefer pencil, so why not give a pencil to someone in need?!

The gallery wall is my favorite part of my classroom, but this window is a close second.  Memes galore!!!  I spent an entire planning period finding, saving, and printing funny teacher/math memes, had them laminated, and taped them here.  I pinned most of them to this Pinterest board for anyone interested!  I was literally laughing out load at most of them!

And finally, my back wall.  These are some really fun student projects.  The students have to draw a picture that includes at least seven circles and write the equations for the seven circles.  The projects are so much fun because I get to see students' creative and artistic sides!

These are really old projects, but I can't bare to take them down!  Students used to have to enlarge the design on a small square and then we'd put the squares together to reveal the picture.

Last thing.  It seems I've changed the arrangement of my desks every to every other year in my ten years of teaching!  I just can't find anything I truly love.  Back to groups this year because I can move around the room more freely.  Which poses a problem on test days.  Desk dividers to the rescue!  I bought these (I don't even know what they are?) from Home Depot and our drafting teacher sliced them so that two fit together like so.  Problem solved.

So there it is!  Where I spend 40+ hours each week, nine months of the school year!

Linking Up With Andrea from Momfessionals for Teacher Tuesday (on a Saturday) 


  1. What an amazing space!! I especially love the "student station" and the clever idea for desk dividers for test days. Great job!

  2. Your classroom is adorable! You can truly see all the time & effort you put into it. And I'm sure plenty of your own resources as well!